Published: 23rd February 2017
Vidhu Vincent's Manhole wins the Kerala Film Award for the Best Film and Best Director: Here's why it digs up the dirt on Kerala's manual scavenging problem
Vidhu Vincent's Manhole has won a lot of critical acclaim and it has opened up a lot of debate on how manual scavenging is still a stinking problem in God's Own Country
When an experienced and established journalist with a decade of experience in visual media is set to make a film, it ought to be something worth people's attention. And rightfully so is the content-driven film Manhole by Vidhu Vincent, which won the Kerala State Film Awards for the Best Film, Best Director and Fipresci Award for best Malayalam film while she won the Silver Crow Pheasant Award was best debut director at the 2016 International Film Festival of Kerala. The film discusses the life of the manual scavengers of Kerala.
Slice of Life: Poster of Vidhu's film Manhole
"The things that I have seen, heard and experienced in the last 15 years of journalism were the platform that aided my jump to a bigger medium," says Vidhu, who believes that her film is an extension of the work she has done as a journalist.
Before venturing into fictional filmmaking, Vidhu was making documentaries and docu-fictions for years. In 2014, she shot a 30-minute documentary called Vrithiyude Jathi on the same topic. "I believe that even though the documentary got people's attention, there was more to the story than that. And I also felt that the documentary wasn't discussed enough. This eventually pushed me to bring the subject to a bigger canvas," says Vidhu, who was the first female director to participate in IFFK.
I believe that even though the documentary got people's attention, there was more to the story than that. And I also felt that the documentary wasn't discussed enough. This eventually pushed me to bring the subject to a bigger canvas
Vidhu Vincent, Director-Manhole
"Both, film and journalism are two different media and they touch people's lives on different levels. Both media have their own way of impacting people but more than the medium it's the person behind the medium that plays a bigger role. It all depends on how you dress up your story or film. I have been doing documentaries for years but it has never earned me the acceptance of the society, which my film has now made possible," says Vidhu, who is currently in the initial stages of discussion for her next film.
Watch Manhole's trailer here